The whole world is gearing up to see the Olympics back in its hometown of Athens this year, but did you know the event was originally part of a huge religious festival honoring Zeus? Check out the 411 on this amazing, ancient deity.
Holy Zeus! Who is that Guy?
Zeus was the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea, who were both god-like giants. Cronus and Rhea were also brother and sister. Nasty! Despite his Jerry Springer beginnings, Zeus went on to be the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus, which made him the spiritual leader of both gods and people. Zeus also controlled thunder, lightning and rain.
Zeus Takes on His Father
When Zeus was first born, his dad got a little freaked when he realized that it was his fate to be overthrown from the Throne of Eternity by one of his children, so he ate them all - except for Zeus. Zeus' mom managed to save him, by wrapping a stone in a blanket and feeding that to him instead. Later, Zeus managed to trick his dad into puking up his sibs, and they all joined forces and overthrew their dad together. Afterwards, they divided the universe among themselves. Now that's teamwork!
Zeus - The Ladies' Man
When he was done conquering the universe, Zeus fathered a lot of babies - in a lot of seriously messed up ways. His first child, Athena, popped out of his head fully grown! He also found changing into animals very helpful in seducing the ladies. Once he changed into a swan and another time he changed into a bull. Zeus was not above abducting women, if they didn't willingly give in to his charms. Zeus also joined in on his father's tradition of "keeping it all in the family." He married and had children with his sister Hera. Super gross.
Zeus - Did U Know?
- In Roman mythology, Zeus is called Jupiter.
- Zeus' official bird is the Eagle.
- Zeus and Hera's honeymoon is said to have lasted 300 years. That's some vacation!